Throughout recent history, the Kurdistan, Iraq and the Middle East region have been shaken by conflicts. Foreign intervention, regional and local tensions, instability and problems with regional cooperation wreaked havoc in the Middle East throughout the 20th century. However social initiatives and economic development have also shown how its inhabitants are working together to bring peace and stability to a region that was once a cradle of cultural and intellectual innovation. Supported by evidence-based research and our team’s solid foundation on theoretical approaches to peacebuilding, security and social cohesion, we produce a different range of products from analysis briefs on security and risk factors, to policy-oriented reports aiming to help public and private actors to make informed decisions.
Mass displacement and emigration has resulted in dramatic demographic changes in Iraq. This is particularly visible and threatening for minorities from different religious and ethnic backgrounds. At the CPHS we have extensive experience on migration and displacement from and to the Middle East region. Our research projects look at the factors that drive the region’s inhabitants to emigrate abroad and/or move within the region, but also at the drivers that make them return.
The 20th century saw the reshaping of the Middle East’s territorial and political landscape by the European powers. New states brought together different communities and split others; traditional identities were shaken and new ones arouse. Our research center has been studying the process of creation and the evolution of these identities, as well as the processes of state and nation building in the region. In addition, we pay special attention to the situation of minorities in the region, their relations with other local and national actors and their role in peace consolidation. Minorities have played an important role in politics, culture and society historically in the Middle East region, and peace building efforts need to integrate them in the process to ensure their protection and guarantee stability. Our work pays special attention to the issues that disenfranchised factions and minorities face in the region; providing a platform for these groups to voice their concerns, and highlighting the importance of equality, cooperation and integration of minorities in long term peacekeeping solutions.
One of the themes that CPHS puts emphasis on is institutionalization, accountability and transparency in government sector. As it has been highlighted and debated by researchers as well as by the general public, corruption is a chronic disease in both the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraqi Government, which paralyzed the social and economic development of the country. CPHS investigates the way in which public and welfare services are delivered by the KRG and Iraqi government, and to improve its efficiency and accountability.
Wars and armed conflicts do not only result in the loss of the lives of armed men but shatter the whole society fabric. Armed conflicts in multi-ethnic and multi-religious scenarios often lead to ethnic cleansing operations and even acts of genocide, as we have seen throughout the conflicts that the region has experienced. In addition, often women and children are the most vulnerable people in the conflict-torn areas. CPHS also look at the status and role of women in Iraq’s societal and political life.